[Taxacom] Google Wave: potential taxonomic tool?

Peter Desmet peter.desmet.cubc at gmail.com
Tue Jun 2 03:20:37 CDT 2009

Dear Taxocomers,

Thursday last week Google announced a very ambitious HTML5 webtool
called "Google Wave". It's open source (!) and expected by the end of
this year. See the demo presentation at http://wave.google.com

The tool allows you to start a conversation by creating a "wave",
which is basically a collaborative document hosted on a server. You
invite people (instead of sending them something) and you communicate
by "replying" directly into the document, by chat, by editing the
document or by adding media. New collaborators can rewind the
discussion to catch up. Once your finished, you can strip of the
conversation part and publish your document.

The real exciting part is that the whole communication flow is
submitted character by character, so you see the other persons typing
in your document (can be turned off). This allows faster chat (you can
start your sentence before the other person is finished typing) and
very easy collaborative editing ("I see you're typing over there, so
I'll start over here"). Even better, this information flow can be
monitored by a program you invite to the flow, which allows real-time
spell-checking and even real-time translation (check out the demo
video at 1:12:44 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_UyVmITiYQ#t=72m44s).

Since it's open source, anyone - so also developers in the
biodiversity informatics community (hey London!) - could develop tools
to make your work easier, say for example an instant taxonomic name
spell-checker, an automatic reference/doi converter, plenty of lookup
tools (names, distributions,...), etc.

I think Google Wave could be a potential step closer to this
futuristic "taxonomic desktop tool" that keeps popping up on this
mailing list. :-)

Kind regards,


Peter Desmet
Biodiversity Informatics Manager / Directeur de l'informatique de la
Montréal Biodiversity Centre / Centre sur la biodiversité de Montréal
Canadensys - www.canadensys.net

Institut de recherche en biologie végétale
Université de Montréal
4101 Rue Sherbrooke Est
Montréal, Québec, H1X2B2

Télé / Phone: 514-872-5249
Télécopie / Fax: 514-872-9406
Email: peter.desmet.cubc at gmail.com

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